Gram-positive bacteria naturally produce extracellular vesicles. However, little is known regarding the functions of Gram-positive bacterial extracellular vesicles, especially in the bacterial community. Here, we investigated the role of Staphylococcus aureus extracellular vesicles in interbacterial communication to cope with antibiotic stress. We found that S. aureus liberated BlaZ, a β-lactamase protein, via extracellular vesicles. These extracellular vesicles enabled other ampicillin-susceptible Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria to survive in the presence of ampicillin. However, S. aureus extracellular vesicles did not mediate the survival of tetracycline-, chloramphenicol-, or kanamycin-susceptible bacteria. Moreover, S. aureus extracellular vesicles did not contain the blaZ gene. In addition, the heat-treated S. aureus extracellular vesicles did not mediate the survival of ampicillin-susceptible bacteria. The β-lactamase activities of S. aureus soluble and extracellular vesicle-associated BlaZ were similar, but only the extracellular vesicle-associated BlaZ was resistant to protease digestion, which suggests that the enzymatic activity of BlaZ in extracellular vesicles is largely protected by the vesicle structure. Our observations provide evidence of the important role of S. aureus extracellular vesicles in antibiotic resistance, which allows the polymicrobial community to continue to evolve and prosper against antibiotics.
Gut microbiota play an important part in the pathogenesis of mucosal inflammation, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, owing to the complexity of the gut microbiota, our understanding of the roles of commensal and pathogenic bacteria in the maintenance of immune homeostasis in the gut is evolving only slowly. Here, we evaluated the role of gut microbiota and their secreting extracellular vesicles (EV) in the development of mucosal inflammation in the gut. Experimental IBD model was established by oral application of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) to C57BL/6 mice. The composition of gut microbiota and bacteria-derived EV in stools was evaluated by metagenome sequencing using bacterial common primer of 16S rDNA. Metagenomics in the IBD mouse model showed that the change in stool EV composition was more drastic, compared to the change of bacterial composition. Oral DSS application decreased the composition of EV from Akkermansia muciniphila and Bacteroides acidifaciens in stools, whereas increased EV from TM7 phylum, especially from species DQ777900_s and AJ400239_s. In vitro pretreatment of A. muciniphila-derived EV ameliorated the production of a pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 from colon epithelial cells induced by Escherichia coli EV. Additionally, oral application of A. muciniphila EV also protected DSS-induced IBD phenotypes, such as body weight loss, colon length, and inflammatory cell infiltration of colon wall. Our data provides insight into the role of gut microbiota-derived EV in regulation of intestinal immunity and homeostasis, and A. muciniphila-derived EV have protective effects in the development of DSS-induced colitis.
Hepatic sinusoid, the smallest vessel in the liver, plays important roles in hepatic microcirculation. Although the structure of the hepatic sinusoids affects diverse functions of the liver, little is known about morphological alterations in the sinusoids under pathological conditions. In this study, we show that the structure of hepatic sinusoids can be identified three-dimensionally in normal and carbon tetrachloride-injured mouse liver, using the absorption mode of synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography. We observed that the hepatic sinusoidal structure on tomographic slice images was similar to that on histological images of normal and acutely injured mice. Moreover, centrilobular necrosis and structural alterations of the sinusoids in the necrotic region were detectable on tomographic slice and volume-rendered images of the acutely injured mice. Furthermore, quantitative analyses on 3D volume-rendered images of the injured sinusoid revealed decrease in the volume of the sinusoid and connectivity of the sinusoidal network. Our results suggest that the use of synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography may improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of hepatic diseases by detecting the hepatic sinusoids and their alterations in three-dimensional structures of the damaged liver.
T-helper (Th)17 cell responses are important for the development of neutrophilic inflammatory disease. Recently, we found that acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) inhibited Th17 airway inflammation in an asthma mouse model induced by sensitization with lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-containing allergens. To investigate the mechanism(s) of the inhibitory effect of ASA on the development of Th17 airway inflammation, a neutrophilic asthma mouse model was generated by intranasal sensitization with LPS plus ovalbumin (OVA) and then challenged with OVA alone. Immunologic parameters and airway inflammation were evaluated 6 and 48 h after the last OVA challenge. ASA inhibited the production of interleukin (IL)-17 from lung T cells as well as in vitro Th17 polarization induced by IL-6. Additionally, ASA, but not salicylic acid, suppressed Th17 airway inflammation, which was associated with decreased expression of acetyl-STAT3 (downstream signaling of IL-6) in the lung. Moreover, the production of IL-6 from inflammatory cells, induced by IL-17, was abolished by treatment with ASA, whereas that induced by LPS was not. Altogether, ASA, likely via its acetyl moiety, inhibits Th17 airway inflammation by blockade of IL-6 and IL-17 positive feedback.
Acetyl salicylic acid; IL-6; IL-17A; STAT3; Th17
Cancer cells actively release extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes and microvesicles, into surrounding tissues. These EVs play pleiotropic roles in cancer progression and metastasis, including invasion, angiogenesis, and immune modulation. However, the proteomic differences between primary and metastatic cancer cell-derived EVs remain unclear. Here, we conducted comparative proteomic analysis between EVs derived from human primary colorectal cancer cells (SW480) and their metastatic derivatives (SW620). Using label-free quantitation, we identified 803 and 787 proteins in SW480 EVs and SW620 EVs, respectively. Based on comparison between the estimated abundance of EV proteins, we identified 368 SW480 EV-enriched and 359 SW620 EV-enriched proteins. SW480 EV-enriched proteins played a role in cell adhesion, but SW620 EV-enriched proteins were associated with cancer progression and functioned as diagnostic indicators of metastatic cancer; they were overexpressed in metastatic colorectal cancer and played roles in multidrug resistance. As the first proteomic analysis comparing primary and metastatic cancer-derived EVs, this study increases our understanding of the pathological function of EVs in the metastatic process and provides useful biomarkers for cancer metastasis.
colorectal cancer; microvesicles; exosomes; ectosomes; metastasis; biomarker; secretome; APEX; label-free quantitative proteomics; nanoparticle tracking analysis
Chronic inflammatory airway diseases including asthma are characterized by immune dysfunction to inhaled allergens. Our previous studies demonstrated that T cell priming to inhaled allergens requires LPS, which is ubiquitously present in household dust allergens. In this study, we evaluated the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the development of T cell priming and its polarization to Th1 or Th17 cells when exposed to LPS-contaminated allergens. An asthma mouse model was induced by airway sensitization with LPS-contaminated allergens and then challenged with allergens alone. Therapeutic intervention was performed during allergen sensitization. The present study showed that lung inflammation induced by sensitization with LPS-contaminated allergens was decreased in mice with homozygous disruption of the IL-17 gene; in addition, allergen-specific Th17 immune response was abolished in IL-6 knockout mice. Meanwhile, in vivo production of VEGF was up-regulated by airway exposure of LPS. In addition, airway sensitization of allergen plus recombinant VEGF induced both type 1 and type 17 Th cell (Th1 and Th17) responses. Th1 and Th17 responses induced by airway sensitization with LPS-contaminated allergens were blocked by treatment with a pan-VEGF receptor (VEGFR; VEGFR-1 plus VEGFR-2) inhibitor during sensitization. These effects were accompanied by inhibition of the production of Th1 and Th17 polarizing cytokines, IL-12p70 and IL-6, respectively. These findings indicate that VEGF produced by LPS plays a key role in activation of naive T cells and subsequent polarization to Th1 and Th17 cells.
Cancer vaccines with optimal tumor-associated antigens show promise for anti-tumor immunotherapy. Recently, nano-sized vesicles, such as exosomes derived from tumors, were suggested as potential antigen candidates, although the total yield of exosomes is not sufficient for clinical applications. In the present study, we developed a new vaccine strategy based on nano-sized vesicles derived from primary autologous tumors. Through homogenization and sonication of tumor tissues, we achieved high yields of vesicle-bound antigens. These nanovesicles were enriched with antigenic membrane targets but lacked nuclear autoantigens. Furthermore, these nanovesicles together with adjuvant activated dendritic cells in vitro, and induced effective anti-tumor immune responses in both primary and metastatic melanoma mouse models. Therefore, autologous tumor-derived nanovesicles may represent a novel source of antigens with high-level immunogenicity for use in acellular vaccines without compromising safety. Our strategy is cost-effective and can be applied to patient-specific cancer therapeutic vaccination.
Recent clinical evidence indicates that the non-eosinophilic subtype of severe asthma is characterized by fixed airway obstruction, which may be related to emphysema. Transgenic studies have demonstrated that high levels of IFN-γ in the airways induce emphysema. Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), which is the downstream mediator of TGF-β, is important in wound healing. We investigated the role of FGF2 in IFN-γ-induced emphysema and the therapeutic effects of recombinant FGF2 in the prevention of emphysema in a severe non-eosinophilic asthma model. To evaluate the role of FGF2 in IFN-γ-induced emphysema, lung targeted IFN-γ transgenic mice were cross-bred with FGF2-deficient mice. A severe non-eosinophilic asthma model was generated by airway application of LPS-containing allergens twice a week for 4 weeks. To evaluate protective effects of FGF2, recombinant FGF2 (10 µg) was injected subcutaneously during allergen challenge in the severe asthma model. We found that non-eosinophilic inflammation and emphysema induced by transgenic overexpression of IFN-γ in the airways were aggravated by the absence of FGF2. Airway challenge with LPS-containing allergens induced more inflammation in mice sensitized with LPS-containing allergens compared to challenge with allergens alone. In addition, LPS-induced lung inflammation and emphysema depended on IFN-γ but not on IL-13. Interestingly, emphysema in the severe asthma model was significantly inhibited by treatment with recombinant FGF2 during allergen challenge, whereas lung inflammation was unaffected. Therefore, our present data suggest that FGF2 may help protect against IFN-γ-induced emphysema, and that recombinant FGF2 may help lessen the severity of emphysema.
asthma; emphysema; fibroblast growth factor 2; interferon-γ; pulmonary eosinophilia
Asthma is characterized by airway inflammation induced by immune dysfunction to inhaled antigens. Although respiratory viral infections are the most common cause of asthma exacerbation, immunologic mechanisms underlying virus-associated asthma exacerbation are controversial. Clinical evidence indicates that nitric oxide (NO) levels in exhaled air are increased in exacerbated asthma patients compared to stable patients. Here, we evaluated the immunologic mechanisms and the role of NO synthases (NOSs) in the development of virus-associated asthma exacerbation. A murine model of virus-associated asthma exacerbation was established using intranasal challenge with ovalbumin (OVA) plus dsRNA for 4 weeks in mice sensitized with OVA plus dsRNA. Lung infiltration of inflammatory cells, especially neutrophils, was increased by repeated challenge with OVA plus dsRNA, as compared to OVA alone. The neutrophilic inflammation enhanced by dsRNA was partly abolished in the absence of IFN-gamma or IL-17 gene expression, whereas unaffected in the absence of IL-13. In terms of the roles of NOSs, dsRNA-enhanced neutrophilic inflammation was significantly decreased in inducible NOS (iNOS)-deficient mice compared to wild type controls; in addition, this phenotype was inhibited by treatment with a non-specific NOS inhibitor (L-NAME) or an specific inhibitor (1400 W), but not with a specific endothelial NOS inhibitor (AP-CAV peptide). Taken together, these findings suggest that iNOS pathway is important in the development of virus-associated exacerbation of neutrophilic inflammation, which is dependent on both Th1 and Th17 cell responses.
asthma; interferon-γ; interleukin-17; neutrophils; nitric oxide synthase type II; RNA viruses; Th1 cells
IL-4 and IL-13 are closely related cytokines that are produced by Th2 cells. However, IL-4 and IL-13 have different effects on the development of asthma phenotypes. Here, we evaluated downstream molecular mechanisms involved in the development of Th2 type asthma phenotypes. A murine model of Th2 asthma was used that involved intraperitoneal sensitization with an allergen (ovalbumin) plus alum and then challenge with ovalbumin alone. Asthma phenotypes, including airway-hyperresponsiveness (AHR), lung inflammation, and immunologic parameters were evaluated after allergen challenge in mice deficient in candidate genes. The present study showed that methacholine AHR and lung inflammation developed in allergen-challenged IL-4-deficient mice but not in allergen-challenged IL-13-deficient mice. In addition, the production of OVA-specific IgG2a and IFN-γ-inducible protein (IP)-10 was also impaired in the absence of IL-13, but not of IL-4. Lung-targeted IFN-γ over-expression in the airways enhanced methacholine AHR and non-eosinophilic inflammation; in addition, these asthma phenotypes were impaired in allergen-challenged IFN-γ-deficient mice. Moreover, AHR, non-eosinophilic inflammation, and IFN-γ expression were impaired in allergen-challenged IL-12Rβ2- and STAT4-deficient mice; however, AHR and non-eosinophilic inflammation were not impaired in allergen-challenged IL-4Rα-deficient mice, and these phenomena were accompanied by the enhanced expression of IL-12 and IFN-γ. The present data suggest that IL-13-mediated asthma phenotypes, such as AHR and non-eosinophilic inflammation, in the Th2 type asthma are dependent on the IL-12-STAT4-IFN-γ axis, and that these asthma phenotypes are independent of IL-4Ralpha-mediated signaling.
asthma; interferon-γ; interleukin-12; interleukin-13; respiratory hypersensitivity; Th2 cells
Angiogenesis is critical and indispensable for tumor progression. Since VEGF is known to play a central role in angiogenesis, the disruption of VEGF-VEGF receptor system is a promising target for anti-cancer therapy. Previously, we reported that a hexapeptide (RRKRRR, RK6) blocked the growth and metastasis of tumor by inhibiting VEGF binding to its receptors. In addition, dRK6, the D-form derivative of RK6, retained its biological activity with improved serum stability. In the present study, we developed a serum-stable branched dimeric peptide (MAP2-dRK6) with enhanced anti-VEGF and anti-tumor activity. MAP2-dRK6 is more effective than dRK6 in many respects: inhibition of VEGF binding to its receptors, VEGF- and tumor conditioned medium-induced proliferation and ERK signaling of endothelial cells, and VEGF-induced migration and tube formation of endothelial cells. Moreover, MAP2-dRK6 blocks in vivo growth of VEGF-secreting colorectal cancer cells by the suppression of angiogenesis and the subsequent induction of tumor cell apoptosis. Our observations suggest that MAP2-dRK6 can be a prospective therapeutic molecule or lead compound for the development of drugs for various VEGF-related angiogenic diseases.
angiogenesis inhibitors; colorectal neoplasms; peptides; receptors, vascular endothelial growth factor; vascular endothelial growth factors
Sepsis, characterized by a systemic inflammatory state that is usually related to Gram-negative bacterial infection, is a leading cause of death worldwide. Although the annual incidence of sepsis is still rising, the exact cause of Gram-negative bacteria-associated sepsis is not clear. Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), constitutively secreted from Gram-negative bacteria, are nano-sized spherical bilayered proteolipids. Using a mouse model, we showed that intraperitoneal injection of OMVs derived from intestinal Escherichia coli induced lethality. Furthermore, OMVs induced host responses which resemble a clinically relevant condition like sepsis that was characterized by piloerection, eye exudates, hypothermia, tachypnea, leukopenia, disseminated intravascular coagulation, dysfunction of the lungs, hypotension, and systemic induction of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6. Our study revealed a previously unidentified causative microbial signal in the pathogenesis of sepsis, suggesting OMVs as a new therapeutic target to prevent and/or treat severe sepsis caused by Gram-negative bacterial infection.
Theophylline is commonly used to treat severe asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) characterized by non-eosinophilic inflammation. Acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) is one of the most widely used medications worldwide, but up to 20% of patients with asthma experience aggravated respiratory symptoms after taking ASA. Here we evaluated the adverse effect of ASA on the therapeutic effect of theophylline in mice with non-eosinophilic asthma. A non-eosinophilic asthma mouse model was induced by airway sensitization with lipopolysaccharide-containing allergen and then challenged with allergen alone. Therapeutic intervention was performed during allergen challenge. Theophylline inhibited lung inflammation partly induced by Th1 immune response. ASA attenuated the beneficial effects of theophylline. However, co-administration of the ASA metabolite salicylic acid (SA) showed no attenuating effect on theophylline treatment. The therapeutic effect of theophylline was associated with increase in cAMP levels, which was blocked by co-treatment of theophylline and ASA. ASA co-treatment also attenuated the anti-inflammatory effects of a specific phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor. These results demonstrate that ASA reverses anti-inflammatory effects of theophylline, and that ASA exerts its adverse effects through the inhibition of cAMP production. Our data suggest that ASA reverses lung inflammation in patients taking theophylline, although clinical evidence will be needed.
adverse effect; aspirin; asthma, aspirin-induced; cyclic AMP; cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases, type 4; drug toxicity; pneumonia; theophylline
Secretion of extracellular vesicles is a general cellular activity that spans the range from simple unicellular organisms (e.g. archaea; Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria) to complex multicellular ones, suggesting that this extracellular vesicle-mediated communication is evolutionarily conserved. Extracellular vesicles are spherical bilayered proteolipids with a mean diameter of 20–1,000 nm, which are known to contain various bioactive molecules including proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Here, we present EVpedia, which is an integrated database of high-throughput datasets from prokaryotic and eukaryotic extracellular vesicles. EVpedia provides high-throughput datasets of vesicular components (proteins, mRNAs, miRNAs, and lipids) present on prokaryotic, non-mammalian eukaryotic, and mammalian extracellular vesicles. In addition, EVpedia also provides an array of tools, such as the search and browse of vesicular components, Gene Ontology enrichment analysis, network analysis of vesicular proteins and mRNAs, and a comparison of vesicular datasets by ortholog identification. Moreover, publications on extracellular vesicle studies are listed in the database. This free web-based database of EVpedia (http://evpedia.info) might serve as a fundamental repository to stimulate the advancement of extracellular vesicle studies and to elucidate the novel functions of these complex extracellular organelles.
nanocosmos; communicasomes; exosomes; microvesicles; outer membrane vesicles; membrane vesicles; web portals; phylogenetic analyses
Escherichia coli, as one of the gut microbiota, can evoke severe inflammatory diseases including peritonitis and sepsis. Gram-negative bacteria including E. coli constitutively release nano-sized outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). Although E. coli OMVs can induce the inflammatory responses without live bacteria, the effect of E. coli OMVs in vivo on endothelial cell function has not been previously elucidated. In this study, we show that bacteria-free OMVs increased the expression of endothelial intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), E-selectin and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, and enhanced the leukocyte binding on human microvascular endothelial cells in vitro. Inhibition of NF-κB and TLR4 reduced the expression of cell adhesion molecules in vitro. OMVs given intraperitoneally to the mice induced ICAM-1 expression and neutrophil sequestration in the lung endothelium, and the effects were reduced in ICAM-1-/- and TLR4-/- mice. When compared to free lipopolysaccharide, OMVs were more potent in inducing both ICAM-1 expression as well as leukocyte adhesion in vitro, and ICAM-1 expression and neutrophil sequestration in the lungs in vivo. This study shows that OMVs potently up-regulate functional cell adhesion molecules via NF-κB- and TLR4-dependent pathways, and that OMVs are more potent than free lipopolysaccharide.
Vesiclepedia is a community-annotated compendium of molecular data on extracellular vesicles.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membraneous vesicles released by a variety of cells into their microenvironment. Recent studies have elucidated the role of EVs in intercellular communication, pathogenesis, drug, vaccine and gene-vector delivery, and as possible reservoirs of biomarkers. These findings have generated immense interest, along with an exponential increase in molecular data pertaining to EVs. Here, we describe Vesiclepedia, a manually curated compendium of molecular data (lipid, RNA, and protein) identified in different classes of EVs from more than 300 independent studies published over the past several years. Even though databases are indispensable resources for the scientific community, recent studies have shown that more than 50% of the databases are not regularly updated. In addition, more than 20% of the database links are inactive. To prevent such database and link decay, we have initiated a continuous community annotation project with the active involvement of EV researchers. The EV research community can set a gold standard in data sharing with Vesiclepedia, which could evolve as a primary resource for the field.
Various cancer cells, including those of colorectal cancer (CRC), release microvesicles (exosomes) into surrounding tissues and peripheral circulation. These microvesicles can mediate communication between cells and affect various tumor-related processes in their target cells.
We present potential roles of CRC cell-derived microvesicles in tumor progression via a global comparative microvesicular and cellular transcriptomic analysis of human SW480 CRC cells. We first identified 11,327 microvesicular mRNAs involved in tumorigenesis-related processes that reflect the physiology of donor CRC cells. We then found 241 mRNAs enriched in the microvesicles above donor cell levels, of which 27 were involved in cell cycle-related processes. Network analysis revealed that most of the cell cycle-related microvesicle-enriched mRNAs were associated with M-phase activities. The integration of two mRNA datasets showed that these M-phase-related mRNAs were differentially regulated across CRC patients, suggesting their potential roles in tumor progression. Finally, we experimentally verified the network-driven hypothesis by showing a significant increase in proliferation of endothelial cells treated with the microvesicles.
Our study demonstrates that CRC cell-derived microvesicles are enriched in cell cycle-related mRNAs that promote proliferation of endothelial cells, suggesting that microvesicles of cancer cells can be involved in tumor growth and metastasis by facilitating angiogenesis-related processes. This information will help elucidate the pathophysiological functions of tumor-derived microvesicles, and aid in the development of cancer diagnostics, including colorectal cancer.